Chickens not eating the greens off the fodder

lissalischicks

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 31, 2016
571
1,070
256
Los Angeles, California
So now that it is the time of year where the grass and other greens are not as available, I start to fodder. But here is my dilemma... they never eat the green part, just the grain. Aren't they supposed to eat the green to get more nutrition? If that is the case, then how is it different then just feeding them the grain and more importantly should I just stop trying to sprout/fodder?

I usually fodder wheat grass, black sunflower and alfalfa. I have tried different heights and no matter what I do, they only eat the seed/grain portion. I have tried feeding them in different seasons and nothing works.

Does anyone else have this problem? Or is this even a problem? Is there a way to get them to eat the whole thing?
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Sep 29, 2014
7,682
22,187
941
New Zealand
Mine like the grain just barely sprouting roots - once it's got a green shoot they are less than enthusiastic and don't eat much, although I don't have the same problem with alfalfa sprouts - they are always yum. There's a lot of debate as to what stage is the most nutritious but even just soaked is beneficial so I'd experiment with what stage your birds like it at rather than putting all that effort into something they aren't eating.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,195
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
I have often reported that green food is overrated for chickens. Yes they dearly love to strip the seed heads off of the tops of grasses and sedges but their up take of the leafy parts of most plants is limited. The blooming or flowering parts of most plants is also a chicken favorite.

When seeds sprout the starch inside of the seed turns to sugar and this sweet is what most hens crave when feeding sprouted feed. They like to pull up and eat the entire plant, little sprouted seeds and all.
 

meetthebubus

Crowing
Mar 28, 2017
2,060
5,121
417
Can you supplement with kale and spinach? Mine love those in the winter if I don't give them that they start jumping the bushes to eat the green leaves.
 

lissalischicks

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 31, 2016
571
1,070
256
Los Angeles, California
I give them kale as well. They also get parsley but have recently started to ignore the parsley. My girls are picky. I was sprouting to try to get them some variety and always heard how nutritionally great it was for them. But if those darn buggers don't eat the nutritious part then I'm wondering if it's worth it. Lol ... then instead of sprouting I'll just thrown them the seed and save on water costs.

When seeds sprout the starch inside of the seed turns to sugar and this sweet is what most hens crave when feeding sprouted feed. They like to pull up and eat the entire plant, little sprouted seeds and all.
You learn something new everyday!!! I did not realize this!!
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
2,241
5,430
577
Southeast Alabama
Something that worked for me when my birds did the same to begin with, I sprouted the wheat berries just till they had a little tail/root not longer than the seed. Next week I let the sprout get about twice as big. The week after that, longer yet. Main thing is to start them off with something you know they like and slowly allow them to aquire a taste for the new stuff in a way that doesn't shock them into rejecting it. Whether it's sprouts, alfalfa or just a different brand of feed, sometimes you have to take it slow and trick them to get them to eat new stuff.

And if all else fails, pour some bacon drippings on it, they will eat anything with bacon drippings on it!
:eek::gig:lau
 
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EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
2,241
5,430
577
Southeast Alabama
Cabbage piñatas give them a work out plus they love cabbage. Just get a small eye hook, and screw it into cabbage stem, then tie/clip it to a cord that let's the cabbage hang just above head level. They will spend hours having fun with the piñata plus be rewarded with a healthy treat.
:wee
 

MANNA-PRO

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